Many people assume that special education teachers refer children for special education testing. This is an incorrect assumption. For the most part, special education teachers work only with those students who have been assigned to them. In fact, in some school districts, special education teachers are prohibited from working with any student who has not specifically been assigned to the special education program or to them directly. In a world filled with lawsuits, it is understandable that school districts feel the need to protect themselves from litigation, but if those people who are trained to work with and identify special needs are not recommending testing, who is?
Typically, the first person to notice a possible learning problem is going to be the person that spends the most time with the student in a learning environment, the classroom teacher. [continue reading…]
Parents, students, and those who are new to the field of education are not always familiar with the various plans available to students with special needs. The most commonly recognized plan is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP); however, there are actually several different options that allow children to receive the help they need to be successful in school.
One type of plan that is gaining popularity is the 504 plan. [continue reading…]
Autism has received a great deal of press over the past few years in the media. Before that, although the condition existed, it was undiagnosed and under diagnosed. Additionally, because a medical cause had not been found, many people thought it was not a “real” condition. Recent breakthroughs and extensive media coverage have begun to change the minds of people everywhere, and new resources are becoming available for those children and adults who suffer from autism, in any of its many forms.
One of the newer forms of therapy that has been quiet effective is music therapy. This may seem counterintuitive, because music in and of itself does not necessarily teach communication skills, something many autistic children have difficulty with. But upon closer examination, it is easy to see how music does in fact help. [continue reading…]
Social networking has become popular for people of all ages. Children, teens, young adults, middle aged adults, and even grandparents have all headed for the computer in an effort to connect and reconnect with the people they know. It is no surprise, then, that teachers are beginning to view social networking sites as a great way to stay in touch with students, parents, and other teachers.
Of course, it is important for special education teachers, or any teacher for that matter, to remember that student privacy must not be infringed upon. This means no student or parent names should be used; however, this does not overly limit the usefulness of social networking for a special education teacher. [continue reading…]
One of the things that teachers must do, to varying degrees depending on the student population, is encourage cultural awareness and acceptance. Small towns and big cities are both apt to have children from a variety of cultures within a single classroom. When students have a learning disability or have limited proficiency with English, they are often evaluated and assigned a special education teacher to help them meet their educational needs. As a special education teacher, there are several things that can be done to within both inclusion classrooms and special education classrooms. Some of the best ways to include a variety of cultures into any type of classroom is through fun activities.
Exploring cultures through food is always popular. Depending on school policy, each child can bring a favorite dish made by parents, or teachers can bring popular dishes in if food sharing isn’t allowed. Finger foods or foods that can be enjoyed in small servings are an excellent choice. Some popular choices include Thai spring rolls, Greek baklava, Venezuelan arepas, Brazilian cheese bread, or any popular food from a student’s country of origin. Be sure to include some classic American favorites such as pizza, corndog bites, or apple turnovers. This helps expose all students to foods from the individual cultures represented in the classroom, and ensures that everyone will have at least one thing they know they like to snack on.
Books [continue reading…]
I have many friends in the field of education, specifically special education. I have a special place in my heart for children, as many mothers do, and find myself enthralled by the different ways educators reach out to students with special needs. Children with emotional problems, who I have worked with directly, especially seem to benefit from time with an arts teacher.
By arts, I don’t just mean art such as painting; I also mean music teachers, dance teachers, and any other teacher that helps students express themselves in a nonverbal manner. [continue reading…]
An inclusive classroom is one of the placement options for a student with a learning disability. This is the least restrictive form of education for special needs students and it allows the student to be included in a typical classroom environment with his or her peers.
There are two roles a special education teacher may play in an inclusive classroom — permanent or temporary co-teaching. [continue reading…]